Nihongo|The Kodokan Institute|講道館|Kōdōkan is the headquarters of the judo world. Literally, "kō" means "to lecture" or "to spread information," "dō" means "the way," and "kan" is "a public building or hall," together translating roughly as "a place for the study or promotion of the way." It was established by Kanō Jigorō, the founder of judo in 1882, and is now located in an eight-story building in Tokyo, Japan. Judo is a derivative of jujutsu.


The Kodokan Institute offers classes for those who want to master judo. The program is authorized as a non-regular school by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Its courses include the theories and practice of judo, and matters of general education. The course is divided into two; a general course for novices, and special courses for those who have completed the general course or its equivalent.

The Kodokan also issues ranks, and many judo black belts around the world become Kodokan members and have their ranks registered with the Kodokan.

The Institute was founded with only nine disciples. The growth of judo in its early years is demonstrated by the growth of the Kodokan itself:

* 12 mats - May 1882, at the Eishōji, a Buddhist temple in Kamakura
* 10 mats - February 1883, at Jimbōchō, Kanda
* 20 mats - September 1883, at Shihan's house, Kōjimachi
* 40 mats - Spring 1887, at Shinagawa's house, Kōjimachi
* 60 mats - April 1890, at Hongō-ku, Masaga-chō
* 107 mats - February 1894, at Koishikawa-chō, Shimotomisaka-chō
* 207 mats - November 1897, at Koishikawa, Shimotomisaka-chō
* 314 mats - January 1898, at Ōtsuka Sakashita-chō
* 514 mats - December 1919, at 1-chome Kasuga-chō, Bunkyō-ku
* 986 mats - March 1958, at 2-chome, Kasuga-chō, Bunkō-ku

Today, the Kodokan has 1,206 mats across the five main dojos (Main, School, International, Women's, Boys), plus a 'Special' dojo for retired judoka and special technique study uses.


There are eight floors and a basement to the Kodokan Dojo each serving purposes for housing, training, and research by judoka. The basement holds the cafeteria and some conference rooms. The first floor has parking, a bank, and a store. The second floor contains a library and more conference rooms. The third floor is for judoka and visitors who are living in the dojo. The fourth floor is dressing rooms with the fifth, sixth, and seventh floors all used for training space (the seventh floor is called the Main Dojo) and the eight floor is for spectators and has seats that look down into the main space of the seventh floor.

Research Floor

The Kano Memorial Hall, Historical hall, exhibition room, and material stock room are located in the second floor.

The halls contain photos of the development of judo as well as information on some of the great masters of the system, as well as written documents, photographs and other information of the life of Kano Jigoro and the people he met through his travels.

The extensive library on the second floor holds over seven thousand books pertaining to judo, and is planned to be increased eventually.

There are four research laboratories on the second floor:

1st Lab : Theoretical and historical study of Judo.

2st Lab : Psychological study of Judo.

3rd Lab : Technical analysis of Judo. Research on the physical strength of Judo-players.

4th Lab : Physiological study of Judo.

The Research Staff use fundamental and applied science to work with foreign researchers. Research is displayed to the public and free of charge to view once during the year.

Living In the Kodokan

Judoka visiting and training in the Kodokan can take lodging in the Third Floor. There are five rooms for use during training camps that hold twenty people each. Judo Sensei and Players (when no camp is in session) may live in suites for either one or two people that have their own baths and showers.

The lodging fees are as follows:

Room for training camps : 1 night / person 1,800 yen ($15.21 US)Single room : 1 night / person 3,500 yen ($29.58 US)Deluxe single room : 1 night / person 5,000 yen ($42.26 US)Deluxe twin room : 1 night / person 9,000 yen ($76.07 US)Extra bed : each 1,800 yen ($15.21 US)

Visiting the Kodokan

Short-term visitors to Tokyo can visit the Kodokan to watch or attend practice. Visitors may walk up to the main floor of the dojo to watch practices or competitions. Permission is required to attend the practice for transient students. One-time visitors are most likely to be allowed to take part in a randori session with foreign students.

Main floor

The Main dojo is found on the second floor. The dojo is carefully designed to give the precise amount of floor spring, brightness, and ventilation.

Four official contests can be held at the same time in the main Dojo on the seventh floor. It has 420 mats and approximately 900 spectators can be received on the eighth floor. Medical equipment is provided in case of emergencies.


* Ohlenkamp, Neil (2006) [http://judounleashed.com "Judo Unleashed"] basic reference on judo. ISBN 0071475346.
* Ohlenkamp, Neil [http://judoinfo.com/jhist2.htm "Kodokan Judo"] - at JudoInfo.com
* [http://www.bstkd.com/JudoHistory/HistoryOne.htm A History of the Kodokan] - University of Montana Judo website.

See also

* List of Kodokan Judo techniques

External links

* [http://www.kodokan.org/ Kodokan website]
* [http://judoinfo.com/history.htm "Judo History"] - Judo history pages at JudoInfo.com

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